Used Furniture. As a designer, I prefer to call it Vintage Furniture.
Since I literally grew up in the furniture business, I never thought I would ever buy used furniture. Antiques yes, but used furniture no. But things have changed...in the world of furniture. Vintage furniture is now in vogue!
The San Francisco Chronicle's Home & Garden section has been running articles about vintage furniture. Since I worked in Home Furnishings for 25 years, I was inspired to write on the subject.
I think vintage furniture is hot for two main reasons:
Reason #1: It is hard to find quality new wood furniture that won't break the bank! New case good (wood) furniture is hardly made in the United States anymore. The majority of manufacturers like Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, etc. have outsourced wood production to China and other countries. The price of the import wood furniture is less but so are the designs and the quality. There are still some U.S. mfg making hand crafted wood furniture in the United States but it is pretty pricey! A lot of consumers know that older furniture is often made better.
Reason #2: It is hip to buy used vintage furniture now. It is all part of being green and not filling up the landfills. It's about the three R's, reduce, reuse and recycle. Being green can also fetch you some vintage bargains which are often made of solid wood and cost less, too. Check out garage/estate sales and your local charity/consignment shops. You would be amazed at what you can find. I often see fantastic older wood pieces, even Ethan Allen, now and then.
My personal best vintage bargain to date, is our vintage French cherry drop lid desk. I found it one day snooping for French furniture on Craigslist. I snagged it for under $180.00. It is solid wood with gorgeous floral relief carvings. If I would have purchased a desk like this when I worked for Breuners Home Furnishings, I know it would have been over $1,500.00 or more back then.
Give vintage shopping a try. The best advice I have for you, is that you do have to be patient. You also need to have your wallet ready...because you never know when or where you'll be when that vintage treasure shows up!
Do you have a vintage furniture find? Leave a comment if you do!